hh3It is not too early to start thinking about trying something a little different this holiday season. The holidays are a perfect time to use a traditional card to make a fantastic, lasting impact. Keep reading to learn how you can effectively manage to not only spread some holiday cheer, but also start your new year off with immediate sales off the hop.

Having used direct mail in the past, you know that it is effective and that it works. You are in tune with your clients or customers and you have figured out what your typical ROI is. But what happens when you add another layer of strategy to the mix? If you typically use the holidays for sales driven flyers, catalogues, or brochures – fantastic, you may have your plate full already. But if you have never used the holidays to communicate with your clients or customers you may be missing out on the best opportunity to mail all year!

By warming up to clients and customers over the holiday season with a direct mail card, you actually accomplish 3 major objectives.

  • First off, you will have perhaps the highest open rates of any piece that you have ever sent out.
  • Second, you have the opportunity to communicate one-to-one in a way that ‘humanizes’ your business.
  • Lastly, you are actually setting these customers or clients up for a follow up mailing whereby you will have an increased likelihood of not only open rates, but immediate sales.
  • Here’s why:

    Typically, unless you are a retail operation and the holiday season is your high point, most business owners, decision makers and deal makers start to mentally check out near the end of November. Business tends to slow down as more and more folks start planning their holiday vacations and family time. Business still happens, but it is at a slower pace. As December draws on, more and more plans and decisions are put off until after the New Year. By trying to be too aggressive or ‘salesy’, you may become shelved or discarded altogether.

    However, knowing that you can reach your clients and customers and get the exact opposite reaction should make you strongly consider designing a piece to expressly thank them for their business, wish with them a safe & happy holidays, and offer them early warm wishes for the new year. A sales package may never be opened, but hardly an individual anywhere will not open a holiday card to see whom it is from. Curiosity is a strong emotion.

    The key is your message. Here are a few tips to make you stand out, get you noticed, and generate good will. These things will resonate when it comes time for you to speak with them in a business voice again in January.

  • Be genuine. Do not try to sound corporate. Speak to them as a person.
  • Use the word ‘holidays’ exclusively. Do not try to cater to a specific religious belief.
  • Personalize the card. Use variable printing to address your clients/customers by name.
  • Do not use an off the shelf card. Be original. Stand out. Consider a higher quality stock.
  • Use a little mystery – do not put a return address on the envelope. Get them wondering.
  • Try to sign each card personally. This little detail will make you stand out amongst all other business holiday cards that they receive.
  • Think about how you are going to approach them again for a follow up message or call.
  • By simply approaching the holiday mailing with a bit of strategy, you will not only see an impressive open rate, but you will see extended shelf life. The typical person places increased value on personalized mail, and even more on a special occasion card. Often, people feel obliged to not only hold on to it, but to entertain your next phone call or they will feel they have to read your next direct mail piece.

    But by honestly and genuinely extending good will, you help to strengthen your business relationship. You are saying to your client or customer, ‘Hey, I really care.’ This will have the echo effect that will open a more immediate and action worthy conversation in January. While all of your competitors are still working off their holiday fatigue, you will be in full stride.

    At Russell House Marketing we take pride in helping you use direct mail more creatively and more effectively than your competitors. Speak with a Direct Marketing Advisor today. They will help put together a program that will have your business off to a flying start in 2012.

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